The game is far from over for traditional media in PR strategies and practices. According to a research which recently mapped the marketing/PR behavioral habits of clients of Worldcom Public Relations Group, a considerable amount of stakeholders still can only be reached by traditional media.
This research has given valuable insight on how the Worldcom PR clients think in terms of their most important communication channels and how they reach their customers in different types of markets of various countries.
According to recent statistics, one third of Europeans used the internet on average less then once a week, one quarter have never used it. This must not be disregarded when considering communication strategies. Even though online media is getting more and more popular, the communication strategies need to be focused also on people who don´t have access to or do not use the internet.
The average penetration of internet among European users is 61,3 % which leaves a notable space of more than one third of the population for off-line communication strategies. While many companies want to keep up with the modern technologic era and put a lot of stress on online communication, there still is more than one quarter of the European population – a lot of potential customers – that companies want to communicate with but who, for one reason or another, do not use the internet.
The research shows that 38,7 % of Europeans cannot be reached by popular social media such as Facebook. Therefore especially for companies focused on consumer communication, there is a need to go back to basics – which means printed media or TV, radio and some other communicational means like billboards, citylights, etc.
”It is a trend to advise the client to communicate via online media. It is faster and in many cases a cheaper approach towards the customers. But 25 % of the European population is not a small figure. It is important to remember that print media will always have its word to say. It is a traditional way of communication and a lot of people still enjoy it”, says Patrik Schober, responsible of the research and new business chair of Worldcom Public Relations group EMEA, also head of the rewarded PR agency PRAM in Prague.
Patrik Schober reminds that looking at market trend data the percentage of Europeans reading newspapers has decreased by 8 % since 2004. He notes that despite a massive decrease in the last decade the drop has stabilized since 2009 due to people who are never or sometimes connected to internet.
”Print media still has a future as a means of communication. 65 % of Europeans in average throughout Europe read newspapers. Printed dailies are very popular in most EE countries – almost 90 % of the population in these countries read some daily and listen to radio”, Schober underlines.
”There is and will be for a long time a strong need to communicate also with ‘offline people’ as potential customers and stakeholders. And to reach this almost 40 % of Europeans, the best way is the classic printed media. We will take them into account when planning PR strategies.”
This is why Worldcom Public Relations Group EMEA strongly recommends a balanced combination of online and offline media world.